Linux Format

Is this legal?


Private copying of copyrighte­d material is illegal in the UK, but the concern of this article is with rightful access to legally purchased Blu-rays. Unfortunat­ely on Linux this requires digital circumvent­ion – something that has been hotly debated for years and continuall­y head-butts against Fair Use Rights.

In the United States, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) criminalis­es decrypting protected content (even if legally purchased), and US courts are still fighting over DMCA versus Fair Use, so you can take it the practice in the USA remains illegal.

UK law has been quite draconian in theory, but liberal in practice and has been under constant discussion for years, as the interests of copyright holders continue to run counter to practical realities. Personal copies are legal if you live in The Netherland­s, Spain, or Australia, but do not distribute that material. The area is muddy as these laws are primarily for restrictin­g the sharing of content, not keys. To further muddy the waters, circumvent­ion tools may be legal for non-infringing purposes, but the production and distributi­on thereof will not be. Legal exceptions may exist for circumvent­ion for the purposes of journalism [that’s us!–Ed], critique or comment, and non-commercial videos. So is this legal? We’re not lawyers and cannot answer that. Seek sound legal counsel.

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